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Depends on how much you need and want to spend. I'm a fan of Logic. If you want something like that and cheaper, I'd say Ardour. Obviously Pro Tools is a standard, but there's a learning curve - they do offer a free version these days. I can't speak to it not having tried it, and I switched from it to Logic years ago.
Most things have a trial - try stuff out and see what suits you best for the $$ you want to spend.
I know folks like Reaper and I think you can get that on a freemium sort of permanent trial.
Oh - I forgot one I would have gone for if I didn't have Logic and that is the Harrison Mixbus DAW.
I concur with what Bill just said.
It's really a question of finding what's most suited to your workflow and ease of operation.
I use Pro Tools most - but use Cubase and Mixbus occasionally. All DAW's are pretty good in reality.
Depends on your budget and your needs.
I do record almost completely acoustic instruments and electric guitar/bass and avoid MIDI whenever possible so I find that REAPER suits my needs and my pocket. Started off with a demo version of Cubase but just couldn't get my old head around it. REAPER, to me, was far more intuitive and does everything I need.
Unhindered trial gives you a good long chance to try it out and decide. Well worth the $60 after that.
- Most features: Cubase.
- Easiest to use: Studio One
- Best value for the money: REAPER
- Standard in most studios: Pro Tools
.... and Cubase is rock-solid. You can kick the hell out of it and it won't fall over (unlike Pro Tools sometimes).
Yep - except if you are using the latest version 9.5.10. That version is incredibly buggy! :(
But the previous version 9.0.30 is indeed solid like a rock, and I hope they'll provide the necessary fixes for 9.5. soon. Unfortunatley Steinberg/Yamaha think it's a great idea to release a new half version every year, no matter how stable.
I didn't know that, Steffen. Thanks for the heads-up.
Not a time to upgrade then.
No, there is not much to upgrade for anyway. Two things attracted me:
1. You can have 16 inserts per channel now (previously only 8)
2. Automation curves can be smoother
Ever use Logic?
I would say it's the easiest to use and it incredibly feature rich.
But it's subjective: I would steer clear of subjective statements. :D
Logic is one of the few DAWs I've never used - because I don't like Macs. I do have a Mac Book Pro and a Mac Mini, both from the company I work for, but I avoid them as much as I can. :)
I've heard good things about it (Logic) from those who use it though. :)
lol - yeah - when the company I worked for got acquired, they gave us all windows laptops. Immediately wiped that and installed centos.
but I use mac for development: it's basically unix, and I can run virtualbox and test code out on linux, windows, whatever.
I prefer my Linux PCs, both at home and at work. :)
The Mac is not really for people like me who like to experiment. But for mobile work it's actually quite nice (I would never want to do that on a Windows laptop). Just not as comfortable as Linux or Windows (to me anyway).
But, back to topic: IF Moe was using a Mac (and assuming he wants something to record with, not a full-featured DAW), I think he would already be using Garage Band. So Logic probably isn't an option, because the operating system seems to be Windows or Linux.
I find the current GarageBand very hard to use, but I do know folks that use it for everything here.
Experiment? :D Mac's great for that, lol. Like anything - it's what you want to take the time to learn. OSX is Unix - every bit of software I've written in c++, java, python, node.js, etc. works fins on it and also linux and windows.
Don't get me wrong - for years the mac was shit. I used NT until slackware linux came out, and then redhat and I moved from SunOS and NT to linux for many tears. Apple finally got a platform together than I develop on. That said, I am not a fan of the newest hardware - ridiculous costs for a closed system that isn't powered enough. They are shooting themselves in the foot...
Are you looking for a DAW or just something to record with?
For the latter you can use pretty much anything you like. Audacity (OpenSource), for example (basically a multi-track audio editor).
Ardour is OpenSource too, and a full DAW that feels a bit like Pro Tools, but it's routing capabilities are a little bit limited, and MIDI support is very basic only. Harrison Mixbus is a commercial DAW based on Ardour (Harrison added their own mixer console that tries to emulate the sound of the original hardware Harrison console channel strips).
Tracktion T6 is a DAW (free of charge) that has an interestingly different concept. The successor, T7, and the latest version (now called Waveform) aren't free, but they don't cost much. And they run on Linux too (like Audacity, Ardour, Harrison Mixbus, and REAPER, but the native Linux version of REAPER is still inofficial/beta).
Looking for a DAW for audio and midi
I use Tracktion 6. Came free with my Interface and at that time it wasn't. But this particular version is free to download. Its really light weight when it comes to PC resource. And its awesome to record on the road. When it comes more complex stuff I use Avid Pro Tools and they have a free version called First. It crashes like crazy. Actualy I've managed to crash most of the popular DAWS. A friend of mine told me Reaper never crashes so I'm going there as soon as possible!
I crash any DAW, even REAPER. :)
But yes, REAPER is definitely the most stable DAW on the planet. And the developers really listen to their users. REAPER is a little more difficult to learn than other DAWs at first, but once you understand the (very consequent and logical) concept, it really opens up a universe of possibilities. And you can customize it like no other DAW.
The next version (REAPER 6) will support ARA, and I assume that Linux support will become official then. Right now you have to download the Linux beta versions from the Landoleet website.
Studio One , all day , every day ,very intuitive DAW ,do it all like the other big names
the stock plugins are good to very good , u got basically everything u need and more
The ARA integration with Melodyne is perfect
and u have a wonderful FB community eager to help u on any issues
no brainer if u ask me
I would be leery of cakewalk as Gibson has discontinued development of it and Sonar, etc.
Thanks everybody. So many to choose from. Think I'll start a trial with reaper then go from there. Rarin' to go
Whichever you choose please look through the User Groups here and you should find a one that fits.
If you go with Reaper we have a group:
and also the Reaper forum at Cockos is always most helpful.
Digital Orchestrator! ;) Nah, loved it a long time ago. Today, I think it´s just taste, budget or what you´re used to. I´ve used Cubase since I abandoned Digital Orchestrator in the Stoneage and it never crash if you use good plugs and have a good computer setup.
Also used Reaper once when I forgot my USB key when I had booked a studio and it was pretty easy to learn and worked very much in the same way.
I use Audacity, it's free.
The OS update in my apple killed my Logic 9. sOOOOO
I'm not going to replace logic.
I'm using two DAWs at the moment
1. Reaper (still free but I think I'll pay them) too good to live with the guilt.
2. Using Tracktion 7 which comes free with Berhinger items. I like it.
Tracktion 6 is free to anyone even without purchase. What I like about the Tracktions is everything is on the screen. Not lots of menus to open and wonder whats going on.
try Tracktion 6, it's free too, but better at editing and the effects are "live"
You can use free plugins in addition to the ones provided with Tracktion.
PT is my fav
Logic 9 and now Logic X. I am the most productive while in Logic. I used Cakewalk for 15 years but several times it crashed and scrapped my projects. Had Cubase, Reaper intermittently now just stick with Logic.
Another free Daw is ohmstudio.com. It's also a collaborative software that allows other musicians to put tracks in your project.
What it lacks in features it makes up for in free musicians. :-)
I'm using Garageband for the most part. It comes free with any newer mac you buy. But it is mac only though.
I don't know if anyone has already mentioned Stagelight, but that's the one I use the most. It's mainly for beginners, but it contains lots of sounds, loops and plug-ins. I've been using it ever since I started producing music and I really recommend it. Besides, it's not expensive!
I've started using Logic Pro X and it's winning me over quite fast. Great for midi and packed with lots of essential plug ins.
I recommend pro tools all the way for everything because of workflow and being more specific on small details than any software. 2nd option is logic pro but only for mac
Protools is a standard for the music industry. I've worked with it for a few years on a non-professional level. In my opinion it seems that right from the start?I get a much better sounding recording from LogicPro X than from Protools. Also the learning curve seems much quicker in Logic than in Protools. If you use a Mac, you should definitely try it out.
I chose reaper. It's been a steep learning curve. But for my purposes it's been fantastic. It gets regular updates an the forums are great for when you get stuck.
I've been using Reaper for a couple of years now, never lets me down!
+1 for Reaper
I got really frustrated with some of the DAW's out there so I finally bought a couple of ADAT Machines.
And then i tried Mixcraft Pro studio 7, Ive been using it in combination with the ADATs ever since!
Very easy to use...........
What audio interface do you use with the ADAT's? I have many that would like to transfer to DAW
I've got Mixcraft Pro Studio 8 . Mixcraft has been the easiest for me figure out. I have Reaper also and sometimes bring a mix into to it for final mastering. I can't figure out how to do a lot of editing in Reaper like I can in Mixcraft. Guess I don't have the patience or the time I would have to take to learn all the neat stuff in Reaper. I even got frustrated enough with glitches and crashes happening with my computer that I went out and bought a Tascam DP 24. It seems to have a real true sound when recording with it, warmer maybe, but maybe I'm just imagining this. I guess it all boils down to how the music sounds in the final mix, however you get there.
Depends on experience and needed features as well as budget and OS that you plan to use.
Reaper which I have used is probably the least expensive yet and runs on both Mac and Win. It's a really stable, rock solid, fast DAW.
Cubase, which I have used, is a very powerful, large feature set, Mac and Win DAW and many consider it the best MIDI capable daw out there.
Pro Tools, I have not used is the "industry standard" and has very powerful editing and mixing features.
Logic Pro is a complete DAW and comes with a ton of content, plugins, instruments, and at $200 bucks is IMHO the best deal out there. I don't use it, but I have used its baby version Garage Band and it's easy to learn and intuitive. It's new release has an amazing new feature called "Smart Temp" and this is a game changer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDbQlctegl8 I have been considering buying Logic Pro for a while now just for it's instruments and Loop libraries, now this makes it extremely tempting.
Studio One. This is my current DAW and it does everything I want out of a DAW. Its closely integrated with Melodyne and with Melodyne gives me a very close version of Logic Pros "Smart Temp". It's got a great GUI, very easy to use, highly configurable with macros and commands. It supports drag and drop VST instruments, and will run the plugins from all the other platforms. It comes with a few instruments and lots of loop library content as well. However, to really get all out of Studio One you really need Melodyne and the combination of the two can get expensive if you want "All the Features".
All of this said Studio One became my DAW of choice largely due to it's ARA integration with Melodyne. However, soon Logic Pro and Reaper will support ARA 2 with Melodyne. This is going to make Logic Pro, a very hard DAW to beat, IMHO. Studio One will also support ARA 2 and probably will be the first DAW with it.
Now, if you are first starting out with DAWs it's going to be a bit of a learning curve. If you are Mac based, get started with Garage Band then move to Logic later. If you are PC based, Reaper is an excellent choice. Once you really learn any of these DAW moving to another DAW is not that hard as you basically know what it should do and you will find a way to get it done.
One last thing, if you are a keyboard player and are looking to use the new multi-dimensional midi keyboards such as the Roli product line. Logic Pro, Garage Band, and Cubase are already supporting this. Since I'm in the category I will at a minimum be using Garage Band for my keyboards and keeping Logic Off my computer is getting very difficult for me. I suspect in the future I will be using Studio One and Logic depending on what I'm trying to get done. At this time Studio One does not have an easy way to support mulit-dimensional midi.
Ah, one more one last thing. If you are into EDM, Hip Hop, etc, Abelton and Bitwig are the main platforms in this area. I have used Ableton but just couldn't get my head around it, but people swear by it.
No that I have you completely confused, carry on.
Possibly Presonus for ease of use. I use Pro Tools and Studio One.
Well, I am a gearslut so I have a few for different purposes
Used to be a Sonar user since the early 90s ... DOS ... (sigh) now that I have X3 and Platinum, the company has cancelled it out :(
So now for MIDI creation I use the easiest one around FLStudio 12
For editing and arrangement, and for live miced instruments including vocals I use Reaper
For a little more than 2 years, now, I use Harrison Mixbus 32c and v4 for mixing and mastering (the sound is utterly the closest to a real analog console. Period.)
If I had a tight budget and would wish to include all the purposes in one DAW, though, I would go Reaper. It does everything well.
If you haven't got Reason yet: $399 spent would be your best investment ever. (JustVera=100% Reason:-).
that sounds reason-able